The fintech venture Colendi has raised $30 million in the Series A investment round, $12 million of which came from Re-Pie, Turkey’s first alternative asset management company. Re-Pie targets startups with the potential to become unicorns. Could Colendi become the first fintech unicorn from the country?
After hundreds of millions of dollars worth of funding poured into Turkish retail and gaming ventures over the last year, investors have now turned their attention toward fintech startups.
This interest has been further ignited with regulatory authorities clearing the way for these startups.
This week saw Turkish fintech startup Colendi raise $30 million (TL 258.29 million) from investors in the Series A funding round at a valuation of $120 million.
With this investment, Colendi has become the first Turkish startup receiving such a large amount of Series A funding so far.
Series A, B, and C define the potential of growing ventures. After angel investment and seed periods, startups in Series A offer not only great ideas but also have a strong strategy and successful story.
Thanks to the investment, the company has decided to move its headquarters to the U.K.
It offers its customers financial services, such as payment systems and credit opportunities via its grading algorithm using artificial intelligence and big data.
Out of the $30 million total investment, $12 million came from Re-Pie, Turkey’s first authorized alternative investment fund manager that targets startups with the potential to become unicorns. The rest came from other international investors.
Re-Pie invested in the roof of the Colendi Private Equity Investment Fund.
Having grown its portfolio volume to TL 3.8 billion with its recent engagements, Re-Pie has set its eyes on tech and innovative business models.
Could Colendi Become the First Turkish Unicorn?
The company, which has a strong management team including Ian Hannam, Bülent Tekmen, and Mihriban Ersin as well as a prominent investment portfolio, aims to provide the world’s most accessible consumer micro-credit infrastructure to low-risk customers outside the financial system, using a modern scoring algorithm consisting of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.
Hannam has more than 30 years of experience in leading financial institutions such as JPMorgan and Salomon Brothers. He was the head of the Global Debt and Capital Markets units. He was appointed as chairman of the board of Colendi following the recent investment round.
The company plans to use the investment to become more competitive globally. maximize the service quality it offers, and accelerate its growth by expanding into new markets.
Hannam said the funding would help the company become stronger in the global market by enhancing its existing finance and platform partner portfolio.
Colendi has a modern scoring algorithm that can evaluate different types of data such as social, mobile, demographic, bill payment data, and shopping historical data in real-time and advanced technological infrastructure.
It has reached 2.4 million customers, made over 1.6 million transactions, and recruited 350,000 financially active users. It achieved this all in eight months with its 10 financial partners and four platform partners such as Moneypay, Paycell, Oldubil, and Paratech.
“We have invested in a company that we trust with everything from its entrepreneurs to its business plan, from its competent team to its growth potential,” said Mehmet Ali Ergin, vice chairman of Re-Pie Asset Management. “There has not been a unicorn in the fintech sector in Turkey so far. We believe that Colendi will be the first.”
“Unicorn” is a term that refers to startups with a valuation of $1 billion or over.
Investments To Continue
Re-Pie invests in companies in the startup, scale-up, and pre-initial public offering (IPO) stages as a business model. Having announced that it will make partial exits from some of the companies it invested in, the company plans to continue to invest in both venture capital and private equity scales.
Re-Pie has recently made a partial exit from Turkish rapid grocery delivery startup unicorn Getir and distributed a TL 275 million dividend to its investors.
The latest investment round signals that the regulatory decisions have begun to provide an important test for fintech ventures, which have had a chance to try themselves in Turkey, to open up to the global stage.
After all, the fact that banks have a strong tech infrastructure forces the technology side of fintech startups to become stronger.